Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bortnak Leads Blazers to Win

Dalibor Bortnak scored once and added two assists as the Kamloops Blazers skated to a 4th straight road win with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place.

The Oil Kings didn’t look like a team who had lost four in a row entering the contest. The Oil Kings played hard and played well but couldn’t find the tying goal with the goalie pulled for the final minutes of the 3rd.

Blazer F Dalibor Bortnak had his best game of the season. His PP goal in the 3rd proved to be the game winner. JT Barnett scored a PP goal in the 2nd on a nice three way passing play between Bortnak and Brendan Ranford. The assist extended Ranford’s point streak to nine games. He’s collected eight goals and seven assists in that span.

Jesse Sinatynski opened the scoring midway through the 1st. It was his first goal as a Blazer after being acquired from Brandon last week.

Jeff Bosch was good again in goal for the Blazers. He would finish the night with 34 saves. He was also named 1st star in the building.

The 4th road win in a row for the Blazers marks the first time that’s happened since January of the 08/09 season.

Griffin Reinhart will be a dominant defenseman in this league soon. The 16 year-old has a lot of tools including great size. Oil Kings Head Coach Derek Laxdal said in the pre-game show that Reinhart has a lot to learn. He said he has to continue to move his feet, and develop grit.

The 1st year head coach in the league had an interesting take on coaching young players in the WHL as opposed to pro players:

“Hockey is hockey. The kids are bit more immature and insecure but they have way more upside at 16-20 as they do 20-24. The learning curve is so much steeper.

It’s amazing how much sense of entitlement there is with these kids. If you’re 19 you expect to play every night, they can’t sit out. Well, we’ve sat out over-agers already and we’ve sat out 19 year-olds. The kids that are going to play hard are the kids that are going to stay in the line-up. We’re trying to change that culture here."

The Blazers wrap up the Central division swing in Calgary Saturday night against the Hitmen. The Hitmen are coming off an 8-1 loss in Spokane and will be looking for a bounce back effort.

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